Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Innocent Wife

Wow, as someone who was obsessed (and still is) with the injustice and false imprisonment of the west memphis three, this book really struck a chord with me. The premise is literally so similar to Damion Echol's life story. A man convicted of murdering a young girl spends two decades on death row despite no evidence. His wrongful imprisonment spawns a documentary, a book, and lots of social justice warriors fighting to see him released. Samantha reads up on the case  and decides to write Dennis Danson and an unlikely friendship begins. Their letters lead to jail visitation and then marriage. Shocking new evidence emerges that exonerates Dennis and the two lovebirds can finally be with each other. Now that he's out though, Samantha notices that not everything is peachy-keen, Dennis can be cold, doesn't want intimacy, and hides many things from her. Can she trust this man? Was she wrong to believe in his innocence? What really happened to all the other missing girls? Captivating, bewildering, and hard to read (why Samantha, why?!?). I loved it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

House of Stairs

Dang! Where was this book when I was younger??!? For being a few decades old, it really hasn't aged much! This psychological teen read throws five 16 year old orphans into a weird uninviting alien environment filled only with stairs. None of them know why they are there or how to escape. They wander around and find a weird machine that will give them food, only when they figure out how to meet it's weird demands. It's the 5 of them against this weird environment, what will happen if they stop working together? Why are they there? What is the point? It is very reminiscent of  Lord of the Flies, just maybe a little more futuristic. A weird, interesting, and compelling read. I dig it.

Monday, March 12, 2018


I give inspirational romance a lot of crap, especially the Amish ones because they so often tend to be formulaic, boring, and preachy, but I will admit... I kinda dug this one! Honestly! When my friend told me there were Amish fairy tale spin offs I laughed. It sounded so dumb, bizarre even! So I went into this book expecting it to be awful, and admittedly I didn't fall in love with it right away, but once I got into the story, I was hooked. Belle lives with her father and two useless sisters. When they find out that they are going to lose the farm because their father hasn't been paying the mortgage all hope seems gone; they will be destitute and homeless. The town recluse, Adam, a man disfigured from a fire, buys up the farm and Belle tries to plead with him to save their home. He tells her the only way he'll let her family have the farm back is if she agrees to marry him and bear him a child. Against her better judgement she does, because she loves her family and wants the best for them. She knows nothing about this man, other than what her little Amish community has gossiped about him and his beast-like looks. Can they make this marriage work? Can she tame the beast and save her family? Cheesy, but super readable. I'll be reading the next in the series!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I was very meh, about the first book (Wintersong), but I obviously had to continue because THE GOBLIN KING. Anything that is even remotely kind of like David Bowie in Labyrinth is worth at least one read through by me. I had to know! Unfortunately, this book was even slower and less exciting then the first in the series. Yes, it wrapped everything up, but no I didn't care. Especially since the goblin king played such a minor role in this. I needed more of him! A lot more! Also, Josef (Elizabeth's brother) is a whiny lil' bitch and I could care less what happened to him. The ending was predictable, and pretty much everything gets all wrapped up in a happy shiny bow. It was an alright attempt at a series, but not one I will ever re-visit. I would however, still want to read anything by this author, she has a way with words and one day I know she's going to write something that resonates with me and knocks the socks off me.

The Black Panther

Beautifully drawn, this collection shows T'Challa struggling to keep Wakanda together. Splinter factions, upheaval, and violence are breaking out all over the country and no matter what Black Panther does, it never seems to be enough; he's putting band aids on a gaping wounds. What can he do to bring peace to his Wakandan citizens? It jumps around quite a bit and can be hard to follow at moments, but the illustrations, dialogue, and coloring, make this an impressive comic.

Guilty Pleasures

I love this series. This is probably my fourth or fifth time re-reading this. It's been a few years since the last time and I had been itching to get back at it. Per usual, I loved every second of it. Anita Blake is freaking awesome, she's such a badass character. The intricate plot and amazing array of characters are also some of the things that keep me coming back or more. Vampirism is legalized in the United States and with that brings a whole slew of problems. Anita is on a retainer for police as their resident expert. Besides being a vampire slayer, she is also a full time animator, raising corpses from the dead for clients to settle wills and say goodbyes. At only, 24 she has quite the reputation. She's known as the executioner. Her newest case, a series of bloody murders around the vampire district is going to be challenging in more way than one. If she doesn't figure out who is wasting vampires, her best friend's life may be in danger. Wonderful from start to finish, I love Anita's sarcastic, cocky bravado.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sing Unburied Sing

I really REALLY wanted to give this a better review! The writing is excellent, there has been so much buzz about it, it won the National Book Award, there are many reasons why I should have liked it, but I can't lie. I wasn't feeling it. The book follows three characters: Jojo, a thirteen year old boy who is mature beyond his years and just wants to be like his grandfather and make sure his younger sister gets taken care, his mother Leonie, a never present parent who spends more time pining after her incarcerated boyfriend and doing drugs, and finally there is Richie, another thirteen year old boy with an unsettling past. Leonie takes her two children on a road trip to see their father released from prison and while there, Jojo encounters Richie, a boy whose story HE KNOWS. Jojo is by far the greatest character in this sad family saga, he is strong, wise, questioning, and more of a parent to his younger sister than his mother, Leonie could ever hope to be. I briefly sympathized with his mom, but it's hard when she constantly chooses herself and her boyfriend over her own children. She is the literal worst. I'm with Jojo, she could die and the world would be a better place. Same goes for his deadbeat dad. The story only spans a few days, but it feels like a lifetime. And, Richie... Richie helps add another layer to the story, it helps deepens the saga. Even though he's not quite a family member, he has something to add. The story was artfully done, but it didn't resonate with me.

Monday, March 5, 2018


File this under HOLY HELL! That is one insane memoir, you won't be able to stop shaking your head in disbelief as Tara Westover recounts her childhood and formative years growing up in a survivalist Mormon family in rural Idaho. Tara was "homeschooled," but in reality she had to teach herself everything; her mother let her and her siblings "learn at their own pace" and her father thought that anytime spent sitting around whoring after knowledge was time wasted. There was a junkyard to run after all! Tara was mercilessly abused by one of her older brothers and taught from a young age that the Illuminati were controlling everything which is why she had no birth certificate or any records indicating that she even existed. Her family refused to go to formal schools, to doctors (not even for the severe stuff!), or to anything. They were content hoarding supplies for the end of days. As Tara ages she gradually becomes aware that she should leave to figure things out on her own, but it's hard to cut ties with her family, even when they insist on dragging her down. I couldn't put this book down, you have to read it to believe it. The fact that Tara survived a very unconventional and dangerous upbringing is impressive, as is the fact that she has been so successful in her advanced education. A must read!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Eating From The Ground Up

This may have skyrocketed INSTANTLY into one of my top five favorite cookbooks of all time. I am a huge fan of simple vegetable recipes (have you seen The Forest Feast cookbook?!?) and Alana Chernila does a wonderful job writing recipes and photographing them. They are simple, sumptuous, and right up my alley. Little known tips really help enhance these vegetables and definitely made me more comfortable in preparing and cooking them. The authors notes about each recipe and section are genuine, well articulated, and surprisingly good reading for a cookbook. I can't wait to try all the recipes out. And even though this book is all about veggies, it isn't 100% vegetarian and it isn't all vegan, but don't let that stop you from getting it! This is a must buy cookbook!


I mostly liked this book, I mean, how could I not? It's practically Labyrinth fanfiction! Hello Goblin King, long time no see. This young adult novel takes the classic eighties movie, Labyrinth, and sets it in old time Bavaria where legends of goblins, the underground, and the goblin king run rampant. The heroine is the eldest child in a family where she is the most overlooked. Her younger sister has all the beauty and curves and her younger brother is a violinist virtuoso. Liesl puts no stock in her own hopes and dreams and focuses solely on her family. Her deepest secret is her desire to be a composer. Music is in her very soul, but no one sees that. No one that is, except for the Goblin King. He covets Liesl and to get her attention he kidnaps her younger sister and Liesl must go into the underground to get her back. Suddenly, all the fairy tales and old wives tales turn out to be true, It's romantic, dark, and beautiful. Liesl can't help falling for the goblin king, it's like she's known him all her life...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Great Alone

Worth. The. Hype. Honestly, I liked this even better than Kristin Hannah's, "The Nightingale," and that book was a masterpiece! I zipped through this one, unable to put it down. It was gripping from the beginning and I know that this is a book I will return to. Set in the remote Alaskan wilderness, this coming of age story features a young girl trying to navigate her parent's stormy relationship and make friends of her own (a hard task when there are only about 30 people in town). Leni's father came back from Vietnam a changed man, prone to violent outbursts, restlessness, and crazy ideas. When his buddy from Vietnam wills him a cabin up in Alaska, he packs his family into their VW van and moves them across county into the great alone. They are woefully under-prepared for their first winter and that summer the townsfolk comes together to help out the newcomers. Little does Leni's family realize how long the winters are and how short daylight is; Leni's father mood shifts ever darker. Despite the darkness in her father their is beauty everywhere: in their new neighbors, the rugged wilderness, the value of hard work and borrowed books. Beautifully written; this love letter to Alaska will resonate with readers and have readers rooting for Leni. Tears may fall, dreams may be born, anything is possible. Favorite book of 2018 so far!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This book was almost more horror than sci-fi! The sense of unease and dread I felt  were palpable at parts! Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades and attempts to go in and explore this un-explainable habitat filled with beautiful vegetation have proved to be fatal. Eleven expeditions have gone to try and map, study, and explore the area and have all been met with death. The twelfth expedition is composed of five women and this novel is told through the perspective of the biologist who was motivated to come after her husband died on the previous expedition. As the biologist tries to understand this hauntingly beautiful landscape and explore an unmarked tunnel into the earth, things start to veer of course. You can't trust everything you see. I'll definitely be continuing with this trilogy. I have to know what in the hell is going on!

The Music Shop

Joyce, Rachel. The Music Shop. 7 CDs. unabridged. Books on Tape. 2017. ISBN 9780525626220.

International best selling author Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry), takes a small run down street filled with broken dreams, graffiti, and old timers and shines a spotlight in on the magic occurring in a small music shop. The owner, Frank, has the uncanny ability to know exactly what his customers need to hear when they walk in the door; whether it be Aretha Franklin, The Sex Pistols, or jazz. One day a women walks into his shop and Frank is stunned, not only by her beauty and charming accent, but by her stillness. He can't read her or figure out what music she needs. For someone so musically inclined he keeps trying to tune out his feelings about this mystery woman. Together these two charming odd ducks navigate friendship, demons in their past, and music in the late 1980's. Steven Hartley's rich resonant voice is instantly captivating and elevates the story to a new level with his wonderful narration. Deeply funny, moving, and inspiring; this story illustrates the power of music and community. Filled with unforgettable characters and amazing music recommendations, this superbly narrated audio book is a great addition to any collection! - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther

This is a pretty pimp comic, it feels cool and fresh. King T'challa and his entourage are pretty badass. I just wish we saw more of them. This would have been 5 stars had there not been a "narrator" and it was told in a more linear fashion. It almost felt as if the narrator was more important than the Black Panther, hell they had about the same amount of page time! Anyways the Black Panther comes over from Wakanda to look into the death of a girl that was just featured in his charity (it's a set up!). His American handler, a funny white dude, is also the narrator. He's the one that relays the story to the reader, he's recounting what happened to his co-worker (and friend with benefits) but he keeps jumping around all over the place. IT's funny, it's frustrating, I want more Black Panther!

State of Emergency

A teen zombie novel that focuses on the outbreak, rather than the aftermath. If you mixed Mike Mullin's teen survival book, "Ashfall," with "Night of the Living Dead," you would get this book. Five teens practically witness the birth of the outbreak, when a pop-star starts eating her crew. An overturned semi leaks toxins into the water and the outbreak starts slow, but seems to follow the teenagers where-ever they go. Every-time they think they're safe, a hoard catches up with them. At first only Dallas and Sam truly grasp what's going on, but soon their companions agree that this is more than a passing sickness, this is a full blown zombie attack. They decide to go to Dallas' Uncles cabin retreat which is surrounded by fences and operates on solar power. They could definitely survive the apocalypse there they think. The only problem is trying to get there in one piece! A quick, readable teen book full of hilarity, adventure, and death.

The Coldest Winter Ever

Gripping from the get go, The Coldest Winter Ever, tells the story of a spoiled, materialistic young women who cares more about fashion, money, and good dick, then she does anything else. Her father is a big time drug dealer and everyone in her Brooklyn neighborhood respects her family and Winter can't wait to grow up to be a bad bitch like her momma. She rolls tight with her crew of fellow delinquents (school? who gives a crap about that?) and they love shopping and sucking their teeth at all the hot young men around. Things start to shift though when her father moves the family out to Long Island to get away from the scene for a while. Things slowly start to spiral out of her control. Just how far will Winter go to prove that she's the baddest bitch around? The answer is... pretty damn far! She has no qualms about shoplifting, carrying a boxcutter for protection, and sucking dick to get what she wants. She's got hustle and she wants you to know it. Winter is the most unlikable heroine who you still end up rooting for. A stunning book that makes you sit back and think when you get to the end.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Sun and Her Flowers

LOVED LOVED LOVED this! Normally I'm not one for poetry but Rupi Kaur showed me what's up. I didn't think anything could top her last collection (Milk and Honey), but my god, this is heaven. It's profoundly emotional, soul jarring, and introspective. It's word porn of the highest order. The Sun and Her Flowers is split into five sections: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Rooting was especially moving, delving into immigration and making a new life in a new country, her poems about her mother are profoundly touching. The accompanying illustrations really add to her poems, helping elicit even more of an emotional response from the reader. Her poems range from break-ups, self doubt, self-love, trust, immigration, and womanhood. I literally loved this book so much, I went out and bought it because I knew I had to possess such a a beautiful collection. A definite must read, especially for women.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Art of Fully Living

Tal Gur's memoir, "The Art of Fully Living," is one man's inspiring journey across continents to discover happiness and the keys to living a full, meaningful life. It's like "Eat, Pray, Love," except that it spans a decade, has way more than three goals was written by a man. Gur, doesn't break down every single one of his hundred goals but he does break up the decade into ten distinct chapters of his journey. From wiping out debt, to total cultural immersion, to love, and giving back; Gur really focuses on not only being a better person, but looking inward and being the happiest he can be. IUt's a lot of trial and error but when he sets his mind to doing it, whether it's training for the Ironman Competition, learning to socialize with peers (especially women!), becoming fluent in a language, or eliminating all debt; Gur tackles each goal with a tenacity that is inspiring. Throughout the book he also offers useful advice and tidbits to help readers come up with their own goals and solutions, and keep them motivated on moving forward and living life to the fullest. A quick read, this memoir will inspire readers to look inside themselves and discover ways in which to change their lives for the better, one goal at a time. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker

This young adult graphic novel is a wonderful tale of discovering your true self, first love, style, art, family, and identity. Prince Sebastian has a secret, he likes to sneak out late at night and dress up in beautiful ballgowns as Lady Crystallia. Prince Sebastian's young new seamstress keeps his cross dressing secret and makes him the most stylish inventive new clothes and soon "Lady Crystallia" is the talk of the fashion world and the town. He wants to please his family but he's not ready for marriage and he knows they would die from shame if they discovered that he lives wearing women's clothes. Thankfully he can confide in his seamstress as she's also his best friend and only one of two people that know his secret. What could possibly go wrong? It's charming. A wonderful little fairy tale about acceptance and identity.

The Sky is Yours

I was immediately drawn in by the cover. I mean my lord. It's eye catchingly beautiful! This book is set in a futuristic metropolis that is slowly dying out. The dragons have been in the sky for decades but the city truly lost hope when the firefighters mutinied and left their posts. Now fires run unchecked and only a few shell-shocked souls live behind. Duncan Ripple is from old money, the manor he lives in is far up on a cliff overlooking the metropolis and out of reach of the dragons. His wealthy father refuses to move, convinced that the city will eventually rise up for the ashes. His father is also convinced that Duncan needs to marry, so he is betrothed to a socialite hidden deep in the forest that he's never met. Before he makes it to his wedding night though, he encounters a feral young woman trapped out on a trash island and finds himself falling for her... or rather her body. This novel is a blend of science fiction, bodice rippers, and black humor. It's oddly satisfying, profoundly weird, and comes very close to being fulfilling. It fell a little flat for me, but I still enjoyed it. It's just not something I think I'd ever pick up again. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lincoln in the Bardo

I wanted to like this one more, I really did. I toughed it out but I didn't love it. The story line is complex and chaotic, the audio book having over 160 narrators, which lends to some confusion. The cast is great and comprises of Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, the author and many other notables but it gets so muddled down at parts. I kept finding my attention wandering. Lincoln in the Bardo takes place on a single night (although to me it felt like weeks) in a graveyard. The Civil War is just kicking off but Abe Lincoln has more on his mind then that. His eleven year old son, Willy has died and is being laid to rest. Willy stuck stuck between life and beyond must contend with ghosts and spirits warring over his soul and trying to influence his father in the land of the living. Along with the dialogue from the spirits is a historical tract that follows the Lincolns in their hour of despair. I really really wish I would have loved this. Such a neat concept and great cast of narrators on the audiobook.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Saga of the Swamp Thing

I'm a sucker for Alan Moore so I figured it was high time I got around to reading this. Also, I've never read any Swamp Thing, so I was overdue in checking this out. I very much enjoyed this collection! This volume contains issues 20 through 27 and first debuted in the eighties. Not only is the writing stellar but the illustrations speak for themselves. Swamp Thing is breathtakingly haunting and watching him battle for his humanity sucks the reader right in. When Swamp Thing discovers his origins and realizes he may not be who he thought he was, he essentially gives up and it takes some crazy circumstances to motivate him from his earthly slumber. I'll definitely be reading more after this. I'm hooked!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fire and Fury

Trying to sum up my feelings on this trainwreck is hard. I'm glad I read it, it certainly helped me understand how the White House is being run and what actual "roles" all the key players have (or rather had). It's honestly pretty terrifying. I actually hoped that this whole book was false because otherwise.... we have a certifiable quack as our president (which again... I know. I know we do.). After I finished reading this I wanted to know what was "facts" and what was "fake news" so I went to Politfact to get the skinny ( Basically... only minor things are wrong and those are mostly misspellings, a wrong date or two, and other very minor details. The rest seems to hold up. And by God it rings true. So my worst fears are confirmed. Fire and Fury is a terrifying glimpse into our government and it reads stranger than fiction. It was fascinating and I couldn't put it down, but at the core it's really scary. Worth a read and a fact check.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dear Martin

LOVED THIS! So very timely! Fans of "The Hate U Give" and other Black Lives Matter young adult books will eat this up. Dear Martin examines, race, inequality, privilege, stereotypes, standing up for  yourself, and double standards. I could not stop listening to this audio-book, it was only four discs long and I was riveted. I had to know what happened, I got emotionally invested in this story. Justice attends a fancy private school in Atlanta and is one of the few black kids there. He's on the debate team, well liked, and dating the hottest girl in school but after he is wrongfully arrested while trying to help his girlfriend he can't stop seeing the disparities around him. The racial inequality, the snide remarks, the higher arrest rates, the differences in income, how has he never noticed all this before? Justice struggles to make sense of everything when another tragedy strikes, one that nearly breaks him. A wonderful read that challenges the listener (or reader) to really think about how far we have to go. Required reading.


It's been ages since I've seen the movie and I've never read this particular James Bond book so I thought I would give it a go. I'll admit, I've liked this Bond novel more than I have some others. It's your typical super cool British spy who gets all the ladies and solves all the mysteries while looking bad-ass type novel and I love it. This novel is six decades old and James Bond is STILL a bad-ass. In this particular novel he is sent to oversee the construction of a large warhead, the Moonraker, after some troubling incidents occur. There is gambling, skinny-dipping, car chases, German scientists, and much more. Lots of fun and worth a listen as it's narrated by Bill Nighy.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


LOVED this! A wacky out of control collection of comics about a witch and her weird anthropomorphic friends. Basically all they do is drink, get stoned, pick on their weird alcoholic owl friend, go to parties, watch TV (they secretly love iCarly), deal with depression, and do weird sex stuff. It's off the wall weird and I love the characters. Werewolf Jones is the life of the party, Owl just wants his friends to like him sober and not get made fun of so much, Megg just wants to smoke and find a way to battle her depression, and Mogg is the most stoned and horny cat you've ever seen. Whimsically drawn and filled in with watercolor, this comic series doesn't take it's self seriously and is bizarrely hilarious.

Fifty Shades Freed

Sweet baby Jesus it's over. I finished the damned trilogy. Many people assured me that this was their favorite one because it had the most action. Hell, the most action was still the sex scenes! There is a "minor" kidnapping drama that is solved in about ten pages, but other than that it's ALL BONING! Rubbing uglies. Naked dancing. Bam-bam in the ham. Knocking boots. Making whoopee. Riding the Bony Express. Hanky panky. You get the picture. Gobs and gobs of sex. Luckily for Ana married sex is still just as great and they're still finding ways to spice it up. That's right folks, after two books we finally get to ass play!! We learn that Ana has no idea how to clean a butt plug and that Christian expects the cleaning lady to clean his dirty toys.... barf. Ana has also accidentally forgotten to take her monthly birth control shot. Oopsie daisy. Too bad they didn't just stick to butt sex because now she's knocked up. And oh no, Christian is gonna flip, they've only been married for like a minute! Just as she suspects he freaks the fuck out, gets drunk sees his old dominatrix and friendly neighborhood child molester and gives Ana the cold shoulder. Then she gets kidnapped, Christian feels terrible, Ana gets saved, their relationship returns to perfect and they end up happily ever after with a bundle of kids. Psh, yeah right. I can't wait to see how this one plays out in the movies. I'm just glad I finished this trilogy and can finally move on with my life.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Old Man and the Sea

I will shamefacedly admit that this is the first Ernest Hemingway novel I have ever read. I know. I'm a monster. How dare I call myself a librarian! I'm glad I finally got around to reading this Pulitzer prize winning classic, because I liked it so much more than I anticipated. The title summarizes the book pretty succinctly. It really is about an old man and the sea. A lonely old Cuban fisherman sails out to see and battles against a giant marlin for days. All he has are his wits and perseverance and he's not giving up. Deeper though, this story is so much more. It's about fortitude and determination, about never giving up and being resilient all the way to the end. I never thought I would enjoy a story about fishing, but thankfully it is so much more than that. The old man's struggle is real, it's not easy, he loses many battles, but he never gives up on himself.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

LOVED this! I definitely recommend the audio (it was narrated by Lin-Manual Miranda!) as I would have had a HARD time reading this. There are lots of Spanish phrases, songs, and conversations that I would have tripped over but having Lin-Manuel read it to me... was beautiful. His cadence and bi-lingual ease pushed the story forward and kept it interesting and engaging. Told through multiple perspectives and generations of one family it all ties together to tell the story of Oscar, a nerdy, overweight Dominican living in New Jersey with his mom and sister Lola. He believes he's destined to die a virgin, but that doesn't stop him from checking out and falling in love with, every pretty lady he sees. There is so much more to this story then that, take my word for it and just dive in. It's complex and beautifully tied together with witty dialogue, family curses and Dominican history. Enlightening, unique, and wonderful. Junot Diaz is a world class author.

50 Shades Darker

"Oh my." That little statement not only summarizes my feelings on this book but was also uttered FIFTY-EIGHT times by Anna throughout this train-wreck of a book! FIFTY-EIGHT! If you think that is a tad excessive, the word "murmur" is used 251 times. But I digress, let me get to the book. If you thought Christian Grey was controlling and domineering in the first book, hold on to your butts because he gets even worse in this one! Ana and Christian get back together within the first like, second, of this book. He vows to change his ways and not be a sadist bully if it means that she'll stay with him. He need someone other than his shrink to tell him he has a good heart. He divulges to Ana that he was beaten as a child and his mom was a crack whore. So now he likes to beat women that look like his mom. NO.BIG DEAL. TOTALLY NORMAL. She is a little scared, but mostly of her love for him. She can look past these things because he's going to change for her.... fat chance bitch! This book is basically one giant sex scene. They're straight up rabbits! She is literally wet ALL THE TIME! Seriously, she's like an over chlorinated pool filled with raging sex hormones. Would she even love Christian if he didn't have a big dick and no how to use it? Doubtful. Their whole relationship is about sex. And him ordering her about. Also included in this book, is an ex-sub who is up to no good (and she has a gun permit, oh my!), a helicopter crash, a boss who gets fired for sexual harassment, a shitty marriage proposal, and more sex... Sigh, on to the final book!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

50 Shades of Grey

Ok... This is my second time re-reading it. SECOND!! That's not a brag either, it's more like self-inflicted torture for the sake of .... seeing the movies... Go ahead and judge me. It can't be any worse than I'm judging myself. I read this six years ago and for posterity, I have the review that naive, grad student me, wrote preserved down below (read at your own risk). As I've "grown up" my opinions have definitely changed so here's my take on the book... WHAT THE HELL?! This is the most abusive, fucked up relationship ever!! Christian Grey is such a douche-canoe and Ana is literally the dumbest, most naive, un-confident, doormat. All Christian Grey has going for him is his good looks and money. There is nothing redeeming or sexy about his personality. He's controlling, abusive, inconsiderate, and the biggest stalker ever! Just imagine this story featured a man in a trailer park that was unattractive, broke, into BDSM, had a tendency for stalking, and had a red room of pain..... not so hot huh?!?! Christian Grey buys his way into Ana's life (with cars, computers, $14,000 first edition books, you name it) and tries to inflict his lifestyle on her even though she's a virgin (she's never been attracted to another man before...... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?). She quickly tosses away her v-card and tentatively agrees to try out the whips, chains, and hand cuffs. For someone so inexperienced (never even masturbated... bitch please, you just graduated college!) she starts dropping orgasms all over the place, like 15 a day. Super realistic. She's madly in love with him so she'll do whatever it takes to make Christian love her back. Even if it means doing shit she's uncomfortable with. Christian isn't into "love" or "vanilla," he only gets off by inflicting pain and having others obey his every command. He blames it on his "tortured past." Ana is convinced that she can change him and they can have a real relationship.... because that's realistic. Ugh.... this book is mommy porn and if you want erotica there is soo much better shit out there. Shit that features HEALTHY relationships. Christian is so over the top, don't even get me started on his obsession with making Ana eat. He doesn't shut up about her eating habits. Leave the girl alone! You're gonna give that dumb bitch an eating disorder! The most unrealistic part about this book however, is the part where an Ana, an English major, gets a job immediately after graduation.... WITH AN ENGLISH DEGREE. I can't anymore. Read at your own peril.

Review from 2012:
Wow. I don't even know where to start on this one. My first comment is on the highly misleading award on the back, "A GoodReads Choice Award Finalist for Best Romance." This book is not exactly what you would call "romantic." Erotic, check. Sensual, check. Sexually charged, check. Romantic, no. That being said I did enjoy the book and knew what I was getting myself into. After no less than three of my close friends chastised me for not reading this book I knew I had to make it a priority. It's definitely a compelling read, you have to find out more. You can't stop reading. It's maddingly addictive. The story follows young Anastasia as she falls head over heels for sexy billionaire Christian Grey who wants to do nothing more than punish her. They form an odd relationship that is quite erotic (as fitting with Christian's tastes) and Anastasia struggles to come to terms with their different notions of love and what makes an appropriate relationship. Of course I will be reading the next two in the trilogy. It's too damn good to put down. This is a great book, but not a light read or for those faint of heart. If you embarrass easily please don't read in public, you'll find yourself blushing every other page. Enjoy!!

Monday, January 29, 2018


I've been on a bit of a Star Wars kick, so basically that involves me reading all the semi new Star Wars books I stumble across at work. This makes the 3rd one in a month and it may be my favorite!Bloodline follows Princess Lei two decades after "Return of the Jedi." She is still heavily involved in politics and serving as senator. Even though the Empire is long gone there is still trouble in the Senate. The Populists and the Centrists are always at each others throats and nothing constructive ever seems to get accomplished. Leia is seriously considering retiring but when an opportunity to invest a potential new threat to the galaxy comes up she springs on the chance to have a little adventure. A young power thirst Populist decides to accompany her on her mission and the two of them have no idea what is in store for them or the galaxy. Lots of fun and has new characters as well as old (Han! C3PO! Chewie! Luke!). I loved this, it fit seamlessly into the Star Wars universe and takes place about a decade before "The Force Awakens." I loved it!

Murder on the Orient Express

Surprisingly, only the second Agatha Christie novel I've ever read, the first being "And Then There Were None." This one has been on my "to be read" shelf for years. Literally years. It took the movie coming out (and a book club) to get my butt in gear. I was not disappointed. It's a classic whoddunit, that keeps you guessing until the very end (although I was pretty close to figuring it out!). Famed detective, Hercule Poirot, is riding on the Orient Express because he must get back to London for a case. While on the train a murder occurs and he is tasked with discovering who the murderer is because there is no way he or she could have left the train. Lots of red herrings, interesting characters, sketchy motives, and puzzles. It was great and it definitely makes me want to read other books in the Poirot series! I'm glad however, that they can be read out of order because they are all stand alone novels.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Blockade Billy

Not my favorite Stephen King short story collection, but still masterfully written. Unlike the title suggests there is more than one story included in this book. "Blockade Billy," the gruesome and surprising baseball story is up first, followed by "Morality" which is a chilling tale about how far people will go for money. Both were well written, but neither appealed to me. "Blockade Billy" is definitely geared for the sports fanatic, it contains a lot of heavy duty baseball writing and terminology while "Morality," focuses on money, relationships, and you guessed it... morality. A quick read with good suspenseful build up and witty dialogue.

Milk and Honey

Wow. This book of poetry was raw, compelling, and impossible to put down. I rushed through it but now I want to start over so I can savor it. It's hauntingly beautiful and easy to relate to. It's broken into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. The poems range in length and some even have accompanying sketches. Rupi Kaur mastered the art of conveying deep emotion with minimal words. I can't get over how beautiful and poignant this collection is. Definitely a poet to keep an eye out for and one whose books I will certainly add to my own personal collection because I know I'll want to revisit her words again and again.


Holy cow! I've heard this book get hype, mostly from my teens, but I didn't realize how right they were until I finally plunged in! This book is fantastic! The concept is insanely unique, and the whole story is inventive and over the top amazing! In a world where humans have finally overcome disease, old age, war, and injuries there is nothing left to fear or learn. People can reset their clock and be younger, they can also reset their nannites to have higher metabolism, adjust hormones, depression, and other maladies. They can even be brought back to life from extreme accidents. There is nothing to fear, except for the scythe. Since humanity has overcome every obstacle, the only problem now is overpopulation. The scythe are tasked with random killings to keep the world in balance; they are a terrible necessity. Two teens are about to get real intimate with the dark side of humanity when a scythe has chosen them to become his apprentices. They must learn the best ways to "glean" (killing is a dirty word), and how to do so with humanity and humility. A wonderfully different book. My review will not do it justice!

Traitor to the Throne

A stellar follow up to Rebel of the Sands, not quite better but damn close. Traitor to the Throne picks up right where Rebel of the Sands left off and it's a nonstop action ride the whole way through. Amani never catches a break! When she finds herself captured and taken to the Sultan's palace she is able to spy from the inside. What she learns shakes her to her very core and she's powerless to do anything about it. Her powers have suppressed by the sultan so she must find others ways to get information back to the rebel cause and help some innocents escape from the palace. Lots of twists and turns, and romance, and adventure, and all around badassery. I can't wait to see how the series is wrapped up when the third book comes out later this year. Traitor to the Throne ended crazy and I must know how it all plays out!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Northanger Abbey

Not nearly as strong as Jane Austen's other novels, this one is a little lacking but makes up for it with beautiful prose and well developed characters. This novel attempts to be gothic in points and I don't believe that is Austen's strong suit; I'm more about deception, societal roles, and romance. This story centers on Catherine, a smart sensible girl of 18 who gets to spend several weeks in Bath with her childless neighbors. While there she becomes best friends with Isabelle and finds herself always going on double dates with Isabelle, her older brother, John, and James, Catherine's older brother. John quite fancies Catherine but she has her eye on Mr. Tinley and she's determined to make his and his younger sister's acquaintance. What's a girl to do (hint, get a husband... but which man to choose?!?!?) Good ol' fashioned regency era romance.

Murder at the Male Revue

I 100% picked this up because of male strippers. I won't even lie. I was like, man they make cozy mysteries about EVERYTHING!! And then I read it in one day. I had no idea that this book was the third in a mystery series (Bucket List Mysteries) AND that it was set in Indiana AND that it was written by a Hoosier father daughter duo. Basically there is a group of senior ladies who are working on crossing items off their sixty lists (bucket lists) and finding dead bodies in the process. While they are catering a charity strip show (Joy had a bucket list item about attending one), the town council president is found murdered backstage. Of course these senior ladies can't be content to let the police have all the fun so they get to work sleuthing and gossiping and having a grand old time. For featuring strippers, this was a pretty clean novel and will be a perfect fit for those who love cozy mysteries. Lots of fun, I may actually read the first two! I really love the characters! They are grannies with character!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The End of the Fucking World

This was a wild ride from start to finish. Fast paced and quick to read in it's comic format this story about a lonely teenage couple roaming around aimlessly is gripping from start to finish. James is an odd duck, he doesn't feel deeply and as a child he had no problem killing animals. He's not a remorseful guy, he's just looking to feel something, anything. He meets Alyssa and he pretends to fall in love with her in an attempt to feel some feelings. She goes along with it because she's lonely and why not. Together they runaway and bum around. They break into a house to sleep while it's owners are on vacation. While there they discover some disturbing satanic items and pictures of mutilated bodies. They stay anyway When the owner returns home Alyssa and James are in for some serious shit. Dark and compelling. Like, really dark, I wonder how the TV adaptation will be.

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Another fantastic installment in the Christopher Worthy/ Father Fortis Mysteries series. The dynamic duo find themselves working together again when Father Fortis is assigned to help minister to a Church whose priest has just been murdered and Lieutenant Worthy finds himself assigned to that very case. Initial signs point to a theft of alter items but Worthy and Fortis are convinced that it's something more than that. Something they're not seeing. The closer they get to solving the case the more red herrings are thrown their way. Can they find the truth buried in Church gossip or maybe a nearby dumpster? While all this is going on Worthy is trying to salvage his relationship with his daughter and help out his new partner who seems to fly off the handle about everything. With a shocking conclusion that I didn't see coming, this mystery will leave readers guessing up until the very end. I can't wait for the next one!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Red Clocks

I was momentarily disoriented in the first 25 pages, but once the format and story-line clicked, it was magic. Fascinating, dark, dreamy, beautiful magic. Told from the perspective of five wildly different women, Red Clocks re-imagines what the United States would be like if abortion was once again illegal and criminalized. The new personhood amendment overturned Roe vs. Wade and harshly persecutes women who abort or attempt to abort while also outlawing single parents from adopting. The women in this novel each deal with this new reality in different ways; with contempt, fear, outrage, and anarchy. It's a perfect read for fans of Margaret Atwood and fans of feminist literature and is more timely then ever. This book will make you think and feel. What a wonderful journey; I look forward to reading more by this wildly talented author.


Translated from Finnish, this book is a combination of the horrifying possibilities in The Handmaid's Tale with ancient pagan tales. It's a wonderfully feminist, empowering, dark teen novel. Maresi is a 13 year old novice at the Red Abbey. The Abbey is located on a remote island and only women are allowed. They worship the goddesses and are completely self sufficient from men. Everything changes the day that Jai comes to the island. Maresi takes the scared girl under her wing and shows her the wonders and beauties of an island filled with only women. Little does Maresi know that she may have to take on role as savior for the Abbey and stop hiding behind her books and her new friend Jai. Very fairy tale-esque.


I didn't have high expectations for this novel so I was really pleased that I enjoyed it. This addition to the Star Wars universe gives Phasma a much needed back story. It helps reveal her personality, deadly ambition, and character. It was awesome. She was basically a bloodthirsty warrior on a small mostly uninhabited planet. Having grown up in the worst of environments with little to no stability, she became the fiercest warrior in her clan, willing to do whatever it takes to help her come out on top. When a strange ship crashes on her planet she goes out of her way to find the survivors, and escort them to safety; defying clan laws, encroaching on warring clans territory, and jeopardizing her people. If she can help the First Order general then perhaps she can get off her God forsaken planet and actually do more than survive, probably thrive out in the galaxy. A fascinating read.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Woman in the Window

For thrills and plot twists 5 out of 5, I docked it one star overall because I disliked the unreliable narrator (although she did keep things interesting). This book was definitely worthy of the hype surrounding it. I hate comparing it to Gone Girl and The Girl in the Train but...... I have to!! We have an unreliable female narrator who drinks too much, plot twists out the ass, and some dark hidden bits about her past. All intriguing! Basically a 38 year old woman who is "separated" from her husband has shut herself in her large New York City house for the past 10 months. After some mysterious traumatic experience (which the reader is dying to know all about!) she became a hardcore agoraphobic and can't leave the house without having a full fledged panic attack. She passes time watching classic noir movies, playing virtual chess and spying on her neighbors. When a new family moves in something seems off but then when she witnesses a crime in their house, no one believes. She's not making it up... or is she? Definitely unique and worth a read. I sped read this in one day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Canto Bight

This was a quick and fun read that takes place in the Star Wars Universe. Canto Bight is the Casino planet featured in The Last Jedi and it's basically a higher stakes version of Las Vegas. It's a prosperous city with a dark underbelly that will always thrive on greed and war. This book features four short stories by notable sci-fi authors that take place on the casino planet. None of them feature any major characters from the Star Wars series, but there are a few mentions of the impending war and the First Order. The stories feature thugs, gamblers, wine sommeliers, tourists, masseuses, and more. The stories are all vastly different and contain a great number of different species, plot lines, and adventure. They were all fun and entertaining and I would definitely read another compilation like this.

Monday, January 8, 2018

You Need a Budget

An enlightening and interesting way to go about your personal finances. I just picked this up because it was the new years and it sounded like a good idea and I was very impressed. I had not been aware of Jesse Mecham, the founder of YNAB and the finance platform that went with it, but after I read this I joined a few Facebook groups so I could keep up on this. I haven't invested in the software yet, but I am definitely tempted. This plan sounds a lot more doable then a lot of other budget plans I've read. I'd describe it but I don't want to butcher it. Just check it out! It seems easy to use and follow and has great results!

God and Donald Trump

Sweet baby Jesus. I hate read the hell out of this piece of garbage. I HAD to know why people still believe that he is a "Godly" man chosen to lead the people. Basically it boils down to, yes he is a sinner, but God LEADS sinners and uses them for good. God chose Donald Trump to lead the people which is why he got almost ALL the Evangelical vote. This book was so filled with lies and garbage. Comparing Hillary to a Nazi and saying over and over again that she was going to get rid of religious liberties and give out free abortions for all and that she was basically Satan in disguise. She may not have been perfect, but she was none of those things. This book is so hypocritical and laughable. It made me sick reading it. The author is clearly delusional and lying to himself. No one can say that Trump is a good Christian. He's had sexual allegations against him, been married three times, is a bully, owns casinos, doesn't regularly attend church, married a lesbian porn star, etc. Hate read this while you drink.

Live Lagom

A gorgeous little coffee table book filled with luscious photos, great life advice, and words of wisdom about balanced living, the Swedish way. It's a quick read and goes into detail about what Lagom is, how it impacts Swedish culture, and how we can use it and cultivate it in our own lives. It's all about having a happy balance, learning to connect more with family and disconnect with technology. It's about preserving our environment and appreciating what it has to offer us. Also included are some amazing sounding recipes. For fans of all those obsessed with hygge and balanced living.


The extent that I knew Anna Faris before was that she starred in The House Bunny and What's Your Number, and was married to Chris Pratt (mega hunk). This memoir/ self help/ celebrity advice book talked about love, bad decisions, acting, family life, regrets, and other little tidbits. It's not in any way chronological so there is loads of jumping around but that does keep it pretty fresh and keeps the reader on their toes. If you listen to the audiobook it's also narrated by the author herself which is pretty fun. Listening to this memoir made me respect and appreciate Anna Faris more as an actor, although I did not get the "we could be best friends!" vibe that I got from reading Amy Shumer and Mindy Kaling's books. She's a cool chick, but I still have nothing in common with her. Not a bad read.

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties tracks the frightfully fast spread of "Aurora" a sleeping sickness that only affects women. When women fall asleep their face is cocooned in luminous white fluff and if they're awoken they will attack their disturber and kill them before going back to sleep. The world is in a panic, men are committing suicide and it appears the end is near. However in a small town in the Appalachian a woman is able to go to sleep and wake up. Never mind that she went to prison for murdering two meth heads and no one knows her real name, but she might have the answers for this worldwide epidemic and the "cure" might be found right in the sleepy little town of Dooling. There is a massive, wonderful cast of characters. There's good guys, bad guys, inmates, confused souls, and every type of person in between. Stephen King is masterful at bringing his characters to life and this book is no exception. This book isn't scary per se, but it definitely makes you think. A solid addition to the King treasury.